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As a mental heath clinician, I was fascinated by the podcast on NPR One last spring entitled "The Shrink Next Door" (produced by Wondery and Bloomberg) for several reasons. For one, it is an alarming story of betrayal and of a degraded mental judgment on the part of the patient that occurred in this day and age, this century, which is probably the main reason for most of the shock. However, I have to say that most shocking of all was the tepid response to Marty Markowitz' initial conclusive complaint and the many steps that he had to take to receive an appropriate interest into his remarkable story of psychological mistreatment and betrayal. His damning complaint took four whole years to review, and it was not even completed at the time of the story's broadcast. What's more, it appears that once the responding agency got wind of the media attention following the story's publication, their handling of the issue changed for the better — which is even more discerning and telling of American culture and its feckless systems.

The murder of George Floyd was a lightning rod galvanizing the Black Lives Matter movement and highlighting the vast inequalities that remain within our society and economy. Perhaps among the most striking of these is the widening racial wealth gap with Black families holding roughly one-tenth the wealth of white families. One key to ushering in a new age of greater social and racial equity lies in narrowing the vast wealth and earning disparities among the Black population, and Black women specifically.

Racism is a multifaceted monster that thrives on visual and audible cues. From elementary to high school, as a person of color, I experienced what I can only describe as counter-cultural racism. I felt severely isolated and often degraded by the Black community. As a result, I had many more white friends than Black for most of my life. As I got older, my interactions with white women would sting with traces of biased and superior behavior. This was painful and unexpected, and again, I felt isolated and at times degraded.

When the coronavirus outbreak hit New York City, I was terrified. I work for a social service agency in an office building in lower Manhattan, and I was in a panic over being exposed and, even worse, bringing the virus home to my children. My older son Trey is 13 and on the Autism Spectrum, and my daughter Aja, who is 8, were both still in school at the time. I had been advocating to work from home for more than a week because of an underlying autoimmune condition — I received no response.

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